MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Trump dug back in on resurgent Oval Office hopeful Elizabeth Warren — saying he may have launched his “Pocahontas” attacks on the Massachusetts senator too soon, but promising the jibe could be “revived” during his packed rally here.
“I did the Pocahontas thing. I hit her really hard and it looked like she was down and out, but that was too long ago,” Trump said Thursday night. “I should have waited. But don’t worry. We will revive it. And it can be revived. And it can be done very quickly. We will have some fun in the state of New Hampshire.”
Trump’s remarks came as Warren surged into second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden and ahead of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in a new Fox News poll — with Warren at 20% to Biden’s 31%, and Sanders trailing at 10%. The “Pocahontas” attack is a reference to her controversial claims of Native American heritage.
But Trump didn’t seem concerned about Warren or any of his nearly two-dozen other Democratic presidential rivals, running through his usual riffs on “Sleepy Joe” Biden, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) August 16, 2019
Touting a strong economy, high 401(k) plans, and a surge of new businesses and low unemployment in the Granite State, Trump said, “Whether you love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me.”
The president didn’t stop there, appearing to call out Warren on her recent tweet that “Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer” in Ferguson, Mo. — for which the Massachusetts senator has come under fire from Bay State police — by saying, “They slander our law enforcement heroes.”
Trump’s supporters inside the SNHU Arena in Manchester were energized, boisterous and even feisty at times. They were loud and unabashed in their adoration for the president.
“Four more years” they chanted. “USA” they added. And occasionally, though less frequently, “Build the wall.” They cheered and booed in all the right places, without even a cue.
“Is there anything better than a Trump rally?” the president said at one point, to a resounding, “No!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2019
Lana Rachin and her boyfriend, Joe Aguiar, arrived from Massachusetts at 5:20 a.m. to snag spots right in front of the stage. Rachin said Trump is “like our uncle having a conversation with you across the dinner table. It’s not this political kind of talk.”
“My 401(k) is up, my stocks are up. We’re just really, really happy with everything,” Rachin said.
A sea of red MAGA hats filled the arena. But even as Trump announced, “this holds 12,000, we’re full,” empty seats remained in the balconies and there was still standing room on the floor of the event center that can seat more than 11,000. Trump also test-marketed a new slogan, “Keep America Great,” to loud applause.
The largely white crowd inside the arena included signs of diversity, including Cedi Rousseau’s “Latina Women for Trump” sign.
“They say we don’t exist,” Rousseau said. “But we do exist.”
Pam Miller drove three hours from Nobleboro, Maine, to attend Thursday’s rally in the same arena she saw Trump on election eve in 2016.
“He’s the best president we’ve ever had,” Miller said. “He’s standing up for the little guy. Even though he’s a rich guy, he’s one of us.”
Other attendees told the Herald they were concerned about the president’s stance on gun control after fatal mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Trump has expressed support for “red flag” laws — which allow authorities to temporarily remove firearms from those a judge deems a danger to themselves or others — but did not mention the idea Thursday, only saying he would “defend the right to keep and bear arms” and that his administration is “working hard to make sure we keep guns out of the hands of insane people.”
State Rep. Gary Hopper of Weare, N.H., said, “If Trump supports red flag laws, he’ll lose New Hampshire — absolutely. New Hampshire is a wicked strong Second Amendment state. That’ll kill it for him.”
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